DAD Autumn Newsletter 2015

Chalk up is the name we have given to the Culture Kent Dover Pilot. It is the umbrella for a series of projects that bring cultural events into tourist/heritage venues to enhance the experience for visitors. Jessica Wood has joined DAD on the Marketing and PR side for the project. Part of the marketing strategy has been the making of a 2-min and 7-min promotion video about our work, which we would like to share with you. Really remarkable how Dominic de Vere has beautifully distilled DAD’s essence into 2 minutes and how much detail he has been able to add in the 7-minute version.


Falling under Chalk Up’s Umbrella is the Gateway Commission for an artwork to mark the foot and bicycle path up to the White Cliffs from Dover’s Eastern dock area. We were invited by the Commissioner, the Up on the Downs Partnership Scheme, to organise the callout for artists and the selection process. The project is a chance for Dover to add to its successful commissioning of work for the public realm: the Samphire Hoe Education Shelter, the Sea Sports Centre, the Tonkin Liu Esplanade and the North Downs Way end-of-trail maker (Start/Finish Line), ensuring that Dover has a series of contemporary works of excellence which could potentially form part of the South Coast Cultural Trail leading up to the National Trust visitors’ centre. 43 artists and designers from across the UK and Europe responded to the callout for a work to mark the way up to our iconic White Cliffs. Interviews were held in October and an artist has been selected subject to contract.

It has become a tradition for Dover Arts Development to host conversations around a table with a dinner. At the DMAG “Joined Up” dinner for our museum partners, Anne Edwards, the project support officer, cooked a sumptuous spread of Middle Eastern food. It was an opportunity  to think about the Middle East and the richness of its Culture and Art, so much of which is, at this moment, being destroyed or in great danger. Art needs tending, valuing and conserving and it also has to be created and lived. Artworks take numerous forms, as is being revealed in the variety of artworks that the DMAG joined up artists are in the process of making for and with their host museums. Since our last newsletter, the very popular stitch and draw workshop series led by Rosie James and Marcia Teusink in all 10 project venues has been completed. Cathy Rogers led activities at the National Mills weekend at White Mill, increasing their visitor numbers for a weekend by 300%. Louisa Love led a walk around the coalfield sites of Tillmanstone and Aylesham and a drawing workshop at the Kent Miners Festival and John Dargan led 2 workshops up at the Western Heights. Colin Priest’s scratch concert at Deal town hall, a work in progress, was a memorable evening of film, piano and readings from The first world war diaries of Sister Edith Appleton and Matthias Koch and Nigel Green have been back photographing Dover.

 Art is an activity that produces relationships to the world and in one form or another makes its relationship to space and time material …. a work that consists in a dinner, around a soup, is every bit as material as a statue. Bourriaud sees the role of artworks actually being ways of living and models of action.

It is an exciting time in Dover with many projects that have been in the pipeline starting to come to fruition and we will stay diligent in ensuring that a life through art accompanies them. In line with this, we are planning a concert on May 20th in the Maison Dieu with foyer exhibitions in the Stone hall and court room. The music and visual artworks will be a celebration of Dover by contemporary composers and artists with works that have been created through DAD projects. Among the works for the concert are 2 musical portraits of the town of Dover composed by Nigel Clarke in collaboration with violinist Peter Sheppard Skaerved. A CD has just been released by Toccata Classics, Music for Thirteen Solo Strings, that includes these 2 portraits: ‘Pulp and Rags’ based on Dover’s paper industry and ‘Dogger, Fisher, German Bight, Humber, Thames, Dover, Wight’ inspired by Dover’s maritime history. We hope that many of you will be able to attend next year’s concert, which will also mark our first 10 years, so please put the date in your diaries.

Many thanks to all of you who take an interest and support our work.